THE TT men’s football team is yet to have a training session in Spain, ahead of tomorrow’s friendly international against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Girona.
Acording to a media release from the TT Football Association (TTFA), the team, under the guidance of coach Dennis Lawrence, were scheduled to have a training session in Barcelona on Monday afternoon, hours after their arrival in Spain.
“Despite promises from the match agent, this never materialised,” the TTFA media release stated.
“The situation (worsened yesterday) with players and staff awaiting confirmation of their six o’clock session in Girona. At 5.45 pm, there was no word from the representative assigned to the team or his colleagues.”
Lawrence did not mince words when commenting on the situation affecting the team in Spain.
“At the moment, I have to say it has been very very disappointing for all the efforts we have made to come over here and be well prepared,” said Lawrence. “We approached the TTFA to fund us being here an extra day just in terms of our preparation and, at the moment, it has just gone all to waste because of the representatives of the UAE. I am disappointed for the players, I disappointed for football.”
Tomorrow’s game will be the first international for Lawrence since a 1-0 loss to Panama at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva in April 17.
“We were really excited to come over here and fulfil this fixture,” said Lawrence. “Players came over in good spirits and now we get to this situation where things contractually agreed to were not provided by the representatives of the UAE.”
The TT coach added, “I don’t believe is the UAE Football Association itself, I believe it’s the representative of the match agent, those are the ones that got everything wrong in terms of no bus turning up for our training sessions and no pitches arranged.”
TTFA president David John-Williams, according to the media release, said, “I am fully aware of the situation in Spain as I was updated by Dennis and manager Richard Piper. They have our full support from this end and we are confident they will make the right decisions to protect our integrity.
“The contract with the UAE catered to all the team’s training requirements and we will continue liaising with them to iron out these issues,” John-Williams ended.